Saturday, October 31, 2009

End of October TV post

Here are some updates on what I'm feeling about my slate of TV shows. I'm not going to mention every one, but only the ones where my feelings have changed since last time.

The Forgotten-- I've finally figured out what it is about this show, and it's more than just the Chicago location. It's that they go through each mystery methodically and use logic to solve the cases. Most TV mystery shows these days are more about hunches and improbable coincidences than on good solid sleuthing. What can I say? I'm a very logical person, and I like my mysteries to be the same.

Three Rivers-- I was on the fence about this show, and football overruns have made me give up on it. I don't miss it!

Ugly Betty-- This hadn't started yet last time I posted. The tone has changed a lot since last year. It had become too frothy, and now it is almost too serious. It's clear that this show is on its last legs, and I hope it at least goes out in a satisfying way.

Brothers and Sisters-- It seems like they're trying hard to undo some of the things they did last year. I think Kitty's cancer exists primarily to get her out of that stupid plot where she and Robert weren't getting along. That never felt natural to me anyway. And I wish Kevin and Scotty could for once get a plot of their own, instead of just being stuck a year behind Kitty. She got married, so then they did the next year. She adopted a baby last year, so now they have to. Does that mean Kevin will get some dread disease next year? And I never knew Holly was supposed to be so rich, so it really means nothing to me that she has lost her money.

Dollhouse-- The last episode was awesome and a real game-changer. I can't wait for it to come back from hiatus.

Flashforward-- I continue my love/hate relationship with this show. One week I don't like it at all, and then the next it's great. I'm pretty sure I know what's going on with several of the flash forwards, and I keep watching to find out if I was right.

The Vampire Diaries-- The whole thing with Vicki totally surprised me. I didn't see her getting turned, and in such a casual fashion. And then I totally didn't see her getting staked so soon. I have one question, though. We saw Damon killing the uncle several weeks ago when he escaped. What happened to his body? And hasn't anyone noticed that he's missing?

I'm excited about V starting next week. I never saw the original (movie or TV show), and so it will all be new to me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mid-October TV roundup

Ok, every show I wanted to watch, with the exception of Ugly Betty, has now premiered, so I thought I'd give you a summary of my thoughts. I'll go by night because it seems to work best that way.

Monday

Heroes-- This show is getting better and better and is actually fun to watch again. Too bad that I may be the only person still watching it!

Castle-- I love this show! Great mysteries and Moonlighting-like chemistry between the leads. What more could I ask for?



Tuesday

The Forgotten-- I know I'm not supposed to like this show, but something about it continues to appeal to me. It may be as simple as the Chicago locations and the fact that I still have a soft spot for that city. All I know is that I keep watching it every week!

The Good Wife-- This show is understated and shows more of the courtroom side of things than most mysteries these days. It kind of reminds me of Matlock. I think that my father would like it very much. I am not crazy about it, but it's well-done enough that I keep watching it for now.



Wednesday

Mercy-- I like this show. It reminds me of Grey's Anatomy in its first season, before it became entirely about sex and improbable diseases. The nurses' work and personal lives are well-balanced, and I like that their lives aren't totally intertwined. And James Tupper isn't quite as annoying as he was at first.

Glee-- This show continues to surprise me. But I really, really, really don't want the guidance counselor to marry the coach. I guess such a situation strikes too close to home to funny to me, even in satire.

Hank-- People seem to be beating up on this show for being an old-school sitcom, but there's nothing wrong with that in and of itself. I'm going to give it some rope to see if it finds its footing or not.

The Middle-- I don't want to like this show, but yet I keep watching it. I don't usually like this kind of sarcastic family comedy, but it is very well done.

Modern Family-- Now here we go! This show has the right balance of elements of the first two-- a hard and sardonic exterior shell, but with a sweet gooey center.

Eastwick-- I like this show more than I expected to. It's nice, escapist fun, and sometimes that's all you want.



Thursday

Vampire Diaries-- I think a part of me is still stuck back in high school and always will be. Maybe I'm like the vampire in this show, stuck in my teen years forever! At any rate, I do like this show, for the teen element more than the vampire element.

Fringe-- This show is finally hitting its stride! I love the risks they have taken, such as making Olivia walk around with a quad cane for several episodes. Heroes in these kind of action shows always heal impossibly quickly, and heroines hardly ever even get injured, so it's been wonderful to see them make her so human. Olivia Dunham is a real person, not some sex symbol, and it makes me sad that such a large part of the criticism of this show is that she's not "womanly" enough. What do you think a real-life FBI agent is like? And Dana Scully wasn't exactly all pink flounces and giggles either, you know. Another example of how much our culture has changed in the past 20 years.

FlashForward-- To be honest, I was about ready to give up on this show, but this week pulled me in again. Still, there's something about it that's not quite right, and the main reason I keep watching is in the hopes that one day we'll find out what happened.

Community-- Now that they've moved this show to 8 pm, it's in competition with both FlashForward and The Vampire Diaries for my attention. Since I've decided to stick with FlashForward for now, that means Community has to fall out of my line-up. I'm not sure if I'll watch it online or not. Somehow, I think I can live without it.

Parks and Recreation-- See above.

The Mentalist-- This show is as good as ever. Like The Good Wife, I watch it mainly because of the high production values.



Friday

Dollhouse-- This show reset more after the events of the season finale than I would have expected. I do like having Agent Ballard in the Dollhouse now. Since he's so drawn to Echo, it makes sense for him to be her handler. I'm just sad that we've seen so little of Victor and Sierra so far.



Sunday

Three Rivers-- Only one episode in, it's hard to make too many judgments about this show. Honestly, it struck me to be about on a par with Mercy. Do I really want to watch two hospital shows each week? If not, which one will win? Only time will tell!

Brothers and Sisters-- The first episode of the season left me concerned that they've run out of plot. They've found some sort of path since then, but I'm still not exactly sure how much more story this show has. It seems like they've already taken the characters everywhere they need to go.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An anniversary of sorts

One year ago, something very bad happened to me, but even at the time, I saw that it was a beginning of something new as well as an ending. Truly, this bad thing set into motion a whole chain of events that I could never have imagined, and now, I am so very happy all because of this bad thing that happened. Romans 8:28 says, "All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord," and apparently it is really true!

Monday, September 28, 2009

More new shows

I've liberated myself this year and decided not to watch the first episode of shows that I don't expect to like. It's been a wonderful experience so far, but it also means that most of my reviews are going to be positive, since I actually do like most of the shows that I expected to!

The Forgotten-- This show got a lot of bad reviews, but I actually kind of liked it. Maybe it helps that I haven't been watching every episode of every procedural for years and years, but it held my interest, and I plan to keep watching it for a while at least. I must say, though, that Christian Slater does nothing special for me. They could have saved their money and gotten an unknown to play the lead, and I wouldn't have noticed.

The Good Wife-- Everyone said this was the best show of the season, so I was inclined not to like it, but then I watched the first episode and actually did. It does a very good job of blending the different facets of the main character's life. But I've said it before and I'll say it again-- Chris Noth should be playing a lovable jerk, not an actual jerk. He isn't quite the right guy for the role of her smarmy husband.

Modern Family-- For the first episode of a sitcom, this was wonderful! I hope it can keep up this pace in future episodes.

Eastwick-- Another show that didn't get good reviews but that I'm inclined to like. I certainly do like the change in tone over the movie version, that's for sure. I think this could be a fun show!

Mercy-- I'm on the fence about this one, but I'll watch it at least once more. As much as I love James Tupper, though, he doesn't really seem believeable as a doctor. I'm not saying that a guy can't be smart and drop-dead gorgeous at the same time. Eric Bane on Grey's Anatomy pulls it off quite well, and I guess they were going for the same effect when they cast this show. But James Tupper has a "lovable bumbler" quality, and I just can't see him realistically getting all the way through medical school and becoming an army surgeon. The fact that he mumbled all his lines didn't help his case, either!

FlashForward-- This reminded me a lot of the first episode of Invasion. It does make me a little bit nervous that we'll never find out exactly what happened, but it seems like the stakes are low enough in this one that it won't really matter. I'll keep watching it, not because of the mystery, but to find out more about how the characters deal with their visions of the future.

That's it for today. Eventually I'll come back with a post on returning shows and how I feel they're doing, but I suppose I should see a few episodes of each of those before I make up my mind.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TV update

The fall season is just starting to kick in, and it seems almost a bit too premature to do a post, but if I don't, it's all going to get away from me real quick! First of all, I'm sorry to hear that ABC has apparently pulled the plug on Defying Gravity. I know it was a show that you either loved or hated, but I loved it, and I'm sorry we won't get to finish out the 6-year mission. I wonder if it will continue in Canada, and if so, if we'll ever get to see it on DVD here.

In DVD news, I finished the third season of Northern Exposure. It seems that most of the episodes I remember fondly were in that season; I think it was the peak of the show. The first two seasons were just sort of warm-up, and after this it started to go slowly downhill, what with the breakdown of the Joel/Maggie relationship, and then Joel leaving suddenly as he did. But this season was nigh unto perfect!

I also watched the first season of Jeeves and Wooster. (It was only 5 episodes, so it wasn't a major commitment.) Seeing those two shows at the same time really took me back to my high school days in a good way. It seems like my only really happy memories from those days are related to TV; it was my comfort when the rest of my life seemed confusing and full of trials. I suppose that's true for many people my age.

I have also been catching up with season 5 of Angel on TNT. Three more episodes and I'm done. It's clear that nobody realized the show was going to end; most of this season has seemed like a set-up for season 6, which obviously never happened. I'm curious to know more about the comic books, though.

A few new shows premiered last week. I work on Tuesday nights, so I didn't bother to watch Melrose Place, and I hear it's nothing special. I did watch Glee, though, which I'm still enjoying, and The Vampire Diaries. All I can say about that first episode was that it was a classic WB first episode, straight from the Smallville/Buffy playbook, but those turned out to be pretty good shows, so I'll keep watching for now.

Well, there you have it. I'm sure I'll be back soon with more info on more new shows.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Whispering pine

Sometimes it feels like my adulthood is permanently just over the horizon, and the farther I travel, the farther it recedes. Who would have thought that at my age I would still be singing this song?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My love is in a time capsule

I remember this as being one of the big hits my freshman year of college, but it was surprisingly hard to find anywhere. Somehow my experiences have never been typical, have they?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Them's the breaks

Well, at least I know now.

In this strange labyrinth

I hate the place that I am in right now. I hate not knowing if I can believe the words that somebody says and the explanation that he gives. It is just crazy enough that it might be true, but I also know full well he could just be buying time by telling me what I want to hear. Thinking about the experiences of other people I know provides me no clarity. I certainly can give you examples of women who were too touchy, who nipped a great thing right in the bud because they were too afraid of being hurt. But on the other hand, I can give you plenty of examples of women who stayed through increasingly ridiculous excuses, and things never got better and in the end they wished they had just left the first time.

Well, if one can combine the words of a Romantic poet and a New Age pop song in one post, I leave you with those two references to ponder.

Monday, August 17, 2009

An easy explanation

This article from The Hollywood Reporter asks why all the new shows this summer have been getting such bad ratings. I can answer that question easily-- because I haven't been at home to watch them! I hope they don't take it personally.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My TV catch-up post

Ok, so if I can't be persuaded to say anything rational or informative about my personal life (and it just seems like it would be a great big jinx to do so!), at least I can tell you what's been going on in my world of TV. To start with, I have a lot of new hardware. Last week my new TV arrived: a 24" Viewsonic. It's taking some getting used to the finer points of its operation, but there's no going back. The old one has gone back into the box and is never coming out again! (And if anyone out there would like to take it off my hands, please let me know. Right now it's just taking up space.) Then I got my digital cable and DVR. They are also taking some getting used to, but again, there's no going back. And yesterday my Roku box arrived, which will allow me to watch instant Netflix movies on my TV. I haven't gotten it hooked up properly yet, but it's just a matter of needing to go out and buy the right cables. I'll probably do so tomorrow!

So what have I been watching since I got back? Well, I saw the Doctor Who special "Planet of the Dead." It was only so-so, in my opinion, but I did like Lady Christina a lot. On the other hand, Torchwood: Children of Earth was riveting. I agree with everyone who says they can't understand what the new season would be like now, but I'm glad they took the kind of risks they did. In my opinion, they really paid off.

In ongoing series news, I finally got to see the last two episodes of Season 2 of Primeval, and I was underwhelmed. I'm not sure how excited I am to see Season 3 at this point. I felt exactly the opposite about Better Off Ted, though. In just the last week, I caught up with all six of the episodes I had missed, and I thought they were great. Now I'm really sad that there won't be any more until January!

I've tried a couple of new series, too. Being Human is a new show on BBC America (yes, I have that channel back again, finally!) that I'm really loving, about a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf who all live together. From that premise, I thought it would be a comedy, but it's actually your typical British drama in the Torchwood vein. I've seen the first three episodes, and after I watch the one that aired last night, I'll be all caught up, which means I have to wait another week to see another one, and I'm sad about that!

The other new show is Defying Gravity, which I'd heard mixed things about and didn't really expect to like. But three episodes in and I'm hooked! (Again, I've caught up to this show in real time and am now going to have to wait for new episodes.) It's about a group of astronauts who have just left on a mission to visit all the planets of the solar system in 6 years. It alternates scenes of life on the ship, life back home on the ground, and flashbacks of things that happened when the group first met during training. All these are mixed together in a sophisticated way that's more subtle than the kinds of flashbacks that usually happen on TV; it's more like reading a postmodern short story. I hear it hasn't been getting good ratings, but maybe now that I'm back that'll all change!

A new show that I'd planned to watch when I got back is Warehouse 13, but now I'm not sure if I'm going to or not. I've already missed 5 episodes, and while they are all available on Hulu, I'm just not sure if it's worth my time investment to watch them or not. I've yet to meet anyone who says that it's "must-see," but if any of you readers feel that way, please do let me know.

I'd also hoped to find the pilot of Virtuality, but from what I can tell it's not available online anywhere. I'd heard that it would really break my heart to never know what else was going to happen after the pilot was over, but I still wanted to see it for myself, and now I guess I will be spared the heartache.

In DVD news, I've started on season 3 of Northern Exposure, thanks to the dear man I visited while I was at home in North Dakota. I continue to love this show so much, and a lot of what was over my head when I was a high school student now impresses me with its sophistication and wit. They may have been in the middle of nowhere, but Cicely was no backwater! And 1991 doesn't seem that long ago to me until I see the fashions that everyone was wearing, especially Maggie. Her clothes were supposed to be non-descript and blend right into the wordwork, not fashion-forward in any sense, and yet now I can't help noticing how extremely 1991 they are!

As you can tell I've been making up for lost time, and I plan to do more of that in the 3 weeks before school starts. Once that happens, all bets are off!

The shape of things to come

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm back and better than ever

So I finally have internet access at home again, and I'm up at 6 am on the computer the way God intended! But it's been so long that I really don't even know where to begin. So I think I'll just sum it up like this. (And I apologize for making you cut through all the layers of corn and look at that crazy floral dress, but apparently my country streak runs wider than I thought.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation, Part 2

I apologize for my long absence, but I have been out in the world having adventures and marvelous times. I don't know what else to say except that I am very, very happy and blessed. Perhaps I shall become more coherent later; we shall see.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation

Wow, it's been a while since I've been here, and much water has passed under the bridge since then. I moved to a new apartment. I went to Berlin and came safely home. My personal life has gone through more decisions and revisions than even poor old Prufrock could bear. And yet all I know is that I'm still here, and I'm still going to North Dakota next week, and I'm still determined to have the happiest summer ever (so far).

Friday, June 26, 2009

A poem by Ted Kooser

How important it must be
to someone
that I am alive, and walking,
and that I have written
these poems.
This morning the sun stood
right at the end of the road
and waited for me.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The FHA creed

We are the Future Homemakers of America.
We face the future with warm courage and high hope.

For we have the clear consciousness of seeking old and precious values.
For we are the builders of homes, Homes for America’s future,
Homes where living will be the expression of everything that is good and fair,
Homes where truth and love and security and faith will be realities, not dreams.

We are the Future Homemakers of America.
We face the future with warm courage and high hope.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

America's Sweetheart

This is what reference librarians do at the end of the quarter to goof off. Here's a list of everybody referred to as "America's Sweetheart" on the first 10 pages of the Google results.

Sandra Bullock
Ruth Etting
Mary Pickford
Katherine Heigl
Betty White
Meg Ryan
Meghan McCain
Nicolas Cage
Julia Roberts
Drew Barrymore
Jennifer Aniston
Shirley Temple
Connie Francis
Sally Field
Debbie Reynolds
Jessica Simpson
Tina Fey
Lea Thompson
Shawn Johnson
Kirsten Dunst
Ann Miller

Better than a cup of coffee

Just watch this. There, don't you feel better?

Friday, June 5, 2009

A place to belong

This song was very popular my freshman year of college, and it was sort of my mantra. Like the singer, I imagined a future day when I would have all of those things: a place of my own, someone to talk to, to be a star (at least in my own mind.) Well, dare I say that, 16 years later, I finally feel like all those things are coming true? It's been a long time coming, but I fervently hope and pray that it's real this time.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Poetry corner

I've always liked this poem, and I think it expresses how I feel right now. Sometimes you just need somebody to help you figure out what you want, and there's no shame in that, as long as you really are figuring out what you want. But I also understand that, paradoxically, it's the people who really do care about you who will hesitate about doing that, while people who really don't care think nothing about forging boldly ahead. In other words, life is complicated!

She Was Waiting to Be Told
Deborah Garrison

For you she learned to wear a short black slip
and red lipstick,
how to order a glass of red wine
and finish it. She learned to reach out
as if to touch your arm and then not
touch it, changing the subject.
Didn't you think, she'd begin, or
Weren't you sorry ...

To call your best friends
by their schoolboy names
and give them kisses good-bye,
to look away when they say
Your wife! So your confidence grows.
She doesn't ask what you want
because she knows.

Isn't that what you think?

When actually she was only waiting
to be told Take off your dress --
to be stunned, and then do this,
never rehearsed, but perfectly obvious: in one
motion up, over, and gone,
the X of her arms crossing and uncrossing,
her face flashing away from you in the fabric
so that you couldn't say if she was
appearing or disappearing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Facebook woes

It's hard for me to admit it, but I'm starting to think that Facebook was a bad idea, and I'm starting to wonder if I should leave. The amazing thing about Facebook is that everybody you know from all walks of life can come there and mingle together and know every detail of your life. The bad thing about Facebook is exactly the same thing! I've been having a problem lately. People who barely know me in real life today, but think that they know me because we went to 3rd grade together or once had spouses who worked together or once sat 6 rows apart in a history lecture feel perfectly qualified to comment on all aspects of my life and insert themselves in discussions that really weren't meant for them. I find it hard to believe that most of these people would ever say those things in real life, and if they did, I wouldn't associate with them. My solution is to delete their comments from my wall, but that isn't working so well either, since that leaves big gaps in my history, and also makes it seem to others that I'm being cranky for no good reason. Is there a solution to this other than the final solution, which is to defriend them, which seems even more draconian on Facebook than it does in real life?

Oh, well, at least this blog is still a place I can vent and know that absolutely nobody is ever going to read it! ;)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A handy cheat sheet

If you've ever thought, "I wish I could keep track of all the science fiction and fantasy shows out there, but it's too much work," then this chart is for you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A look ahead to the new fall TV season

Just like last year, I'm going to go through the schedule night by night and tell you what I like and what I don't. If I already have an established show in a slot, I won't talk about the new shows, but if I have an opening, I'll discuss all the alternatives in that slot, since it seems fairest that way.

Monday

8:oo-- No contest here. Heroes it is!

9:00-- The only new show in this slot is Trauma, which doesn't look at all like the kind of thing I'd like. I may or may not bother to watch the first episode.

10:00-- Castle. Woo hoo!

Tuesday

8:00-- Nothing to report.

9:00-- Two options, neither of which I like: the new version of Melrose Place, and the new version of NCIS. I predict that my TV dial will remain in the off position.

10:00-- There are two new shows in this hour. The Good Wife stars Juliana Marguiles as a political wife who goes back to her career as a lawyer after her husband is impeached. It seems only slightly interesting, but Chris Noth plays her husband, and I like him. I just don't think I want to see him playing a dirtbag of a character! The other choice is The Forgotten, a show about a group of amateur investigators who reopen cold cases. I'm honestly not sure which, if any, of these shows I'll end up watching.

Wednesday

8:00-- Two choices here: Parenthood, which I already discussed, and which I like more for its cast than its premise, and the sitcom pairing of Hank with The Middle. Hank stars Kelsey Grammar as a tycoon who goes bankrupt and relocates to his old hometown. The previews look ok. The Middle stars Patricia Heaton as the typical harried housewife and mother. The previews don't enchant me. So do I go with the one-hour show that I like or the half-hour show that I like? Only time will tell.

9:00-- Lots of choices here: Glee, the high school choir show that was previewed this week after American Idol, and which I think is uneven but shows promise. Beautiful Life, a show about models starring Mischa Barton, which I don't expect to like and didn't do anything to win me over with its previews. Or the sitcom pairing of Modern Family, a mockumentary about 3 very different families, and Cougar Town, a show with Courtney Cox as a divorcee looking for love with younger men. I'm about 95% sure I'll go with Glee.

10:00-- The only new show is Eastwick, a remake of the novel and movie. I'm not sure why they decided to make this at this exact moment, but it could be fun in a campy way, so I'm game to try it.

Thursday

8:00-- Some choices here, too. The Vampire Diaries, a sort of Twilight knockoff about a vampire and the teenage girl who loves him. I wasn't expecting much from this, but the previews are oddly compelling. Flash Forward, a story about what happens when everyone on the planet experiences a simultaneous vision of the future. Or the sitcom pairing of Community, which I mentioned before and looks really funny, and Parks and Recreation, which I started watching, gave up on, but am willing to give another shot. It figures that there would be three good shows on at the same time, right? I don't know what I'll do here.

9:00-- Fringe, of course!

10:00-- I'm willing to give The Mentalist another try, now that it's not in direct competition with Fringe. From what I saw during the time Fringe was in repeats, it was a pretty good show.

Friday

8:00-- There's a new sitcom called Brothers about a former NFL star who moves home to live with his (you guessed it!) brother, but I don't expect much from it.

9:00-- This is my only hour with a conflict between two shows I watch now. Ugly Betty vs. Dollhouse. Since I'll have no problem watching one of them over the weekend, this doesn't seem like a problem.

10:00--Absolutamente nada.

Sunday

8:00-- The Simpsons is still on my list of shows I theoretically watch, and after that comes the Cleveland Show, a spinoff of Family Guy. Since I don't watch that show, will I understand?

9:00-- Three Rivers is a medical drama starring Alex O'Loughlin from Moonlight. He had me at hello.

10:00-- Brothers and Sisters, indubitably.

Well, there you have it. This season looks even less interesting than last, although I'm sure I'll have a few surprises, as I always do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The inside vs. the outside of the cup

I am so riled up right now that I probably shouldn't be allowed to post anything online, but I'll try to be constructive here and express my opinions in a thoughtful matter. I really don't like the way our society is heading, and the way that women's options, especially regarding personal appearance, have closed up in the last 10 years or so. You may not believe this, kiddies, but there was a time when a woman could have short hair and be considered both sexy and not a lesbian. If you don't believe me, look at Janine Turner in "Northern Exposure" or Winona Ryder in "Reality Bites." Ironically, during that time period I always tried to buck the trend and have long hair, but looking back on it, it was nice to have a variety of options available to me, options that I suddenly realize are no longer there, and I can't for the life of me pinpoint at what exact moment they were lost.

There were plenty of beauty rules for girls even when I was growing up, but there were on the level of suggestions that you would find printed in magazines once in a while, whereas now the beauty rules are irrefutable truths that all women simultaneously realize somehow. I managed to feel perfectly happy and confident about my eyebrows for 30+ years, and aside from brushing them once in a while, I never thought of them as a body part requiring maintenance. But all of a sudden I'm in violation of the cardinal rule of womanhood, that eyebrows must be waxed at all times. Likewise, the new precept for breasts, which is being stated as if it were a universal truth, is that the nipple must fall exactly halfway between the shoulder and the elbow. Now when watching old movies, I can scarcely pay attention to the plot because I'm so obsessed with looking at the leading lady's boobs and seeing how they measure up. Anyone who thinks that this rule is truly universal and has always been in place has never seen Meryl Streep in "The French Lieutenant's Woman." I don't think she was even wearing a bra at all! And somehow she still managed to win Best Actress!

I guess what I'm trying to say (and I never would have believed it if you'd told me I'd feel this way 10 years ago) is that I'm coming out of the closet as a feminist. Women should have options to be and do whatever they want, and I think we should pay more attention to their thoughts and feelings than we do to the way they look. And if you ever find me getting my eyebrows waxed, I'll eat the wax!

A little something to keep you busy

By the way, if you're interested in that sort of thing, this is the best compilation I've found of TV show previews put out by the various networks. I haven't had a chance to watch them yet, since I'm at work, but I'll let you know my feelings when I do.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is

Ok, so maybe I was a bit optimistic with my previous post, and I don't really have 11 returning shows in the fall at all. First off, it's looking like Privileged isn't coming back after all. (The jury is still out on Reaper, from what I understand.) Second, Chuck and Better Off Ted are being held as midseason replacements, while Friday Night Lights probably won't return until next summer! So my count is actually 6, not 11, which is still better than most years. And the only conflict is Ugly Betty and Dollhouse, which are both airing on Fridays at 9. This conflict is easily resolved, though. I shall watch Dollhouse live (because they need all the live viewing they can get) and tape Ugly Betty to watch over the weekend. Unless I get digital cable again, which I've been considering, and which would mean that I couldn't tape one thing and watch another. But I'm sure Ugly Betty would be available online as it always has been, so there's no conflict there either.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I can't believe my ears

In the last couple of days, we've suddenly had news that a whole bunch of shows I like are being renewed. Not everything is official, of course, but it looks like this is a list of the shows I like that will be coming back.

Better Off Ted, Brothers and Sisters, Castle, Ugly Betty, Dollhouse, Fringe, Chuck, Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and possibly Privileged and Reaper

That's 11 shows! I don't think I've ever in my life had 11 shows I like come back. It's an embarrassment of riches! But this also means I'm going to have to change my strategy. In the past few years, I've watched almost literally every new show that came on, because I knew I needed to my options open and continually be adding new elements to replace the ones that kept getting cancelled. I've been open-minded enough to try even shows I was 85% sure I wouldn't like, just in case I was wrong about them, and readers of this blog know that I've picked up a few surprises that way (although I've also sat through my share of turkeys.) Well, if I'm starting the season next year with a slate of 11 shows, that means I'll only have room for a few new ones and have to be much more selective in what I pick. It'll mean adapting to a whole new way of thinking, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Season Finale Fever

So many shows have been having their season finales, and I decided I should talk about them and my feelings about the season as a whole. So here goes.

  • Chuck-- I don't want this show to end, but if it did, the penultimate episode would have been the place to do it. Everything tied up so neatly with a bow that it was kind of confusing that there was another episode after that. So if the show is cancelled, I'll just pretend the real finale never happened! If it does come back, I'm honestly not sure what will happen in the future, and that's pretty exciting. And I really, really, really hope that Chuck and Sarah one day get to finish what they started in that motel room!
  • Heroes-- I feel like the net sum of this season was zero. A lot of things happened only to be reversed in the end. Sure, a few minor characters died, but otherwise, all that running around through corridors didn't really achieve anything of lasting importance. Except for the twist with Sylar/Nathan. That's something I didn't see coming at all, and I wonder how this is going to play out in the future.
  • Castle-- I didn't expect much from this show when it first came on, but it's really snuck up on me. There was no immediate chemistry between the leads as on Moonlighting, but they actually did develop something special along the way, and maybe it feels more real because it wasn't just love at first sight. Castle has demonstrated that he really cares about Beckett and her well-being, such as that episode when her ex-boyfriend with the FBI showed up. He was willing to put aside his cheeky ways and be what she needed him to be in front of company, and that says something about him. I also like how the ex-boyfriend didn't try to break them up, but instead encouraged her to give Castle a chance. That seems more like something that might happen in real-life than the pointless horn-locking that most shows would have given us.
  • Fringe-- The season finale blew me away! A lot of people have been upset with this show because they think it isn't moving fast enough and didn't like the "case-of-the-week" episodes, seeing them as filler. I'm not one of those people, and I was perfectly fine with the way the show was going, but they certainly did kick everything up a notch with the finale, and now even the nay-sayers are impressed. Clearly, they've known where this was heading the whole time, and it will be interesting to see what territory they cover next season.
  • Cupid-- To be honest, I'm still not feeling any chemistry whatsoever between the leads, but I don't know that that's such a bad thing. In the finale, I actually thought the show was moving in a different direction and going to set our fair doctor up with that actuary, and I was kind of disappointed when he turned out to be a jerk. But I don't actually think the show needs any romance between Trevor and Claire, because the romance of the week is plenty! I love watching all the couples get together, and I'm sorry that this show probably isn't coming back next year.
  • Life-- This was a long time ago, but I didn't talk about it then, so I'll mention it now. I'm so glad they were able to end the season with Reese and Crews back together, if only for a moment. It was a powerful moment, and Charlie's abandoning his Zen training to kill his kidnappers was also powerful. Who would ever have thought murdering someone could be life-affirming, but it signified the end of his detachment from the world and his willingness to fight for his life. It really did seem like a series finale, so I can live with it if this show doesn't come back, although of course I still want it to.
  • Dollhouse-- This finale was also a game-changer, and I'm not sure where this show will be going if it comes back either.
  • Friday Night Lights-- We know this show is coming back, but the future as far as what characters we end up following remains to be seen after the finale. Will we just follow Coach Taylor at his new job, or will Tami keep working at the old school and thus give them divided loyalties and us a window into both schools? It all remains to be seen.
  • Brothers and Sisters-- I'm glad we got a real goodbye for Tommy; it also seems like they've left the door open for him to return in the future if he wants to. I wonder how long it will take for Justin and Rebecca to get married, and how many bumps they'll have along the way. Is Ryan going to turn out to be evil? Even Holly is scared of him now, and that's saying something! I wonder what will happen with Kitty as well. Does Rob Lowe want to leave the show? That's the only explanation I can find for her character's sudden reversals.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Unbirthday!

Although I appreciated the birthday card I recieved this morning, today is not my birthday! But here is the song I'm singing right now: "A very merry unbirthday to MEEEEEEE!"

My thoughts on the Dollhouse

So I woke up this morning, realized that tonight would be the season finale of Dollhouse, and actually started to feel a little excited. So many people have such conflicting feelings about this show, so I thought it would be a good moment for me to analyze mine, which I really haven't done before.

A lot of people are really wierded out by the premise, and they seem to be focusing on the sexual aspects of the show to the exclusion of all else, thinking of the Dolls as nothing but very expensive sex slaves. I don't share this view. First of all, fiction is different than real life, and this is something that all science fiction fans should realize but I think a lot have forgotten. In the 1960's and 70's (and even earlier, I guess, with the likes of George Orwell), science fiction was a way for people to explore social problems in a less-threatening way than talking about them in real life. Does anybody seriously think that George Orwell was advocating that we would all like to live like they do in 1984 or Animal Farm? I certainly hope not! Instead, he was just pointing out what might happen if we did live in societies like those. In the same way, Joss Whedon is pointing out what probably would happen if we could control people as utterly as the Dollhouse controls the Dolls. That isn't the same as saying that he'd like it! And if it makes you feel a little icky inside sometimes, maybe that's the point.

Second, usually when people are focusing on sex to the exclusion of all else, it reflects something in their own mind rather than in the actual work they're studying, and I think I see that happening here with the people who criticize Dollhouse for its sexual content. We haven't really seen that much, and most of it was in the early episodes when we know Fox was meddling with the show and probably trying to make it sexier than it really is. So if you imagine that tons and tons of sex is going on in all the moments that we don't see, that says more about your dirty mind than it does about the show. And as far as Sierra's abuse by her handler goes, see the above paragraph. Sometimes you have to take your characters to bad places before you can save them, capiche?

Another criticism of the show is that nothing much happened at first. It seems like everybody expects instant gratification these days. But watching a Whedon show is more like watching a time-lapse photograph of a flower blossoming. At first it looks like nothing is happening at all, and then you notice things moving very slowly, and then all of a sudden, wham! It opens up in the blink of an eye. I think the first season of Dollhouse has been like that. Lots of things happened at first that seemed like they were meaningless, but now we're getting the payoff for a lot of those things all at once.

So I'm very excited to watch the finale tonight and see where we've been being led all this time. I hope you will join me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NBC's first try at an upfront

So NBC attempted to tell us about their new fall schedule on Monday. I say "attempted" because they didn't actually tell us the fate of all their shows, or exactly what they were going to do in the fall, or even give us an idea of what their schedule would be, and I feel they lost some credibility in the process. It's like the kid who volunteers to do his presentation first in class and then spends 10 minutes looking for his Powerpoint on his flash drive.

At any rate, NBC did tell us about 6 new shows they plan to showcase next year, and Hulu has previews of (almost) all of them. So here are my thoughts on them after taking a peek.

  • Community-- This is the show that everybody seems to like the most, and I agree. It's about students at a community college, seen from the point of view of a lawyer who was just disbarred and has to find a new line of work. The big headliner in this one is Chevy Chase, who plays the retiree who goes back to school to expand his horizons, a stock character that every real-life college I've attended has at least one of. (Is it really possible that Chevy has become that old? Apparently!) This looks like it should be a lot of fun, and I will definitely try to tune in. If only I knew when it would be on!
  • Parenthood-- It's a little baffling to most people why NBC would decide to remake a 20-year-old movie, especially one they've actually attempted as a TV series before, but this one doesn't actually look so bad. From what I could tell from the preview, it has very little in common with the actual movie. (Full disclosure: despite two attempts, I have never made it past the first half hour of the movie.) The thing that made me decide to give this a try is the number of big name TV stars they have here: Craig T. Nelson, Peter Krause, and Erika Christensen being at the top of the list. I've loved Erika ever since Six Degrees, and so I'd love to see her get another shot at a series. Same goes with Peter Krause from Dirty Sexy Money.
  • Mercy-- I wasn't expecting to like this show about nurses, but the preview sucked me in. I have to admit the big draw is James Tupper. Swoon!
  • 100 Questions-- This seems somewhat similar to The Ex-List, but hopefully being a sitcom instead of a dramedy will improve the premise in some way. A woman has to answer 100 questions from a computer dating service, and apparently each question will take one full episode, in which she relives her past, to answer. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my patience with this one, but it could be saved if it's really, really funny.
  • Day One-- This is the only show that had no preview, because it's not set to start until after the Winter Olympics are over. From what we know, it's about a group of friends and how they react after some kind of natural disaster and/or nuclear holocaust that destroys civilization. We've all seen this concept a million times before, in iterations both sublime and sucky, so it all depends on how this show is made, and that's something we don't know yet.
  • Trauma-- An ambulance crew. A lot of yelling and a lot of gore. No thank you, please.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My predictions analyzed

I was digging around trying to discover what I posted on May Day last year, so I didn't completely repeat myself, and I discovered my post on last year's upfronts. Before I get all excited on this year's upfronts, which start next Tuesday with NBC, I thought I'd evaluate my predictions last year and what I actually ended up watching. Most of the shows that I didn't expect to like I actually didn't end up liking. The exceptions were Fringe, which I thought would be too dark for me but really isn't, and Privileged (then called Surviving the Filthy Rich), which I was afraid would be "shallow and vapid." On the other hand, I gave much more credit to Do Not Disturb and The Ex List than they were actually due, and I expected to tape Gossip Girl while watching Chuck, a scheme I quickly gave up on.

Finding this post is making me much more excited for this year's upfronts to begin. Hope springs eternal!

God grant you a joyful May

A happy May Day to you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I just got back from the Milky Way

I just had my first visit in the dreamworld in 5 years with someone I love very much. Of course, I can't really know if it was real or not, but either way, it was lovely, and it was good to have him back. I guess this is proof that things happen when you least expect it!

By the way, this isn't the only dreamworld encounter I've had lately. I met someone else unexpectedly there while on my recent trip to Minnesota, and that one was very lovely too. If only my real life was full of such wonderful things.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This is a test, only a test

This is mostly a test to see if comments appear at the bottom of this post. They didn't on the last one, and I'm not sure if it was just a glitch or what.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1965 is to 1981 as 1993 is to 2009



Honestly, how often do you see a music video starring a rabbit? That alone is worth the price of admission! But while I was watching the video for this nostalgic song released in 1981, I asked myself how many years separated 1981 from 1965. In case you can't do basic math, the answer is 16. And then I asked myself how many years it's been since I graduated from high school, and the answer is also 16. Man, I feel old now!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Not gonna do it

So I just saw the first episode of Sit Down, Shut Up, and all I can say is "Nevermore."

April TV roundup

Since my post at the end of March, even more new TV shows have debuted, so here are my thoughts on them, plus a few other odds and ends.

Cupid-- I'm liking this one just fine. My ex-husband and I used to watch the original incarnation occasionally during our first year of marriage in Chicago*, so I have some pleasant memories from the original but not the baggage that a serious fan would have had. I've been able to watch this one with a mostly open mind, and it almost seems like a totally different show. Cannavale and Paulsen have no chemistry, whereas Piven and Marshall had tons, but I actually appreciate the greater focus on the couple of the week, so I can live with it.

The Unusuals-- I watched the first episode of this, found nothing to hook me, and moved on. I think the show suffers from a problem in tone. Before it premiered, ABC was calling it a quirky comedy, now they're calling it a "crime thriller," and neither is exactly right. Not that I think genre lines are absolutely impassible, but if you're going to cross them, you need to have something compelling, and this show isn't it.

Harper's Island-- I'm still on the fence about this one. I liked the first episode a lot, but the second had a lot more hacking and a lot less plot, so I'm not sure how long I'll be able to stick with it. Everyone knows I don't like scary things! On the other hand, there's been absolutely no feeling of suspense so far, so it's not actually that scary, and that's a sign the show isn't really succeeding anyway. But I have to keep watching because Christopher Gorham is so cute!

Parks and Recreation-- This show isn't as perfect as I'd like. For instance, they've wasted Chris Pratt by making his character totally unsympathetic (and that's pretty hard to do with someone who broke both legs in an accident!) However, I'm going to keep watching until Ugly Betty comes back, because it really does have its laugh-out-loud moments, and because I know someone just like Leslie Knope in real life.

Primeval-- I'd been wanting to watch this show ever since I read about it in Dan's Media Digest a couple of years ago. Dan Owen has always given it a hard time for not living up to its potential, and unfortunately I agree with him. You'd think that a show about dinosaurs coming to the present through a rift in time couldn't miss, but this is no Torchwood or even Sarah Jane Chronicles. Still, I'm going to keep watching it for the time being, because the urge to watch whatever British thing Sci Fi shows on Friday night is just too strong with me.

Surviving Suburbia-- I almost forgot I watched the first episode of this show while I was traveling and had already missed the beginning of Heroes. No, no, and no!

In old business, I'm very intrigued by the latest happenings on Chuck, am more optimistic about Heroes than I've been in a long time, am thrilled that Friday Night Lights will be returning for two more years(!), and am sad that I may never see Life again. (USA Today says it and Reaper are already dead, but I refuse to believe.) Oh, and I gave up on Kings and didn't watch it last night on its first Saturday showing. While I've enjoyed it, everybody knows it's a dead show walking, and I could think of better things to do with my Saturday night.

*Can it really have been 11 years? Time goes by so quickly when you're a grown-up!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why don't you stop and think things over?

I've decided to resurrect my Saturday night video post, since I've had such a wonderful weekend so far. This is the song I've been thinking of, and yes, I am the same girl!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm back!

I have rejoined the land of the living! It's true that I got back from my trip on Wednesday as planned, but I spent most of last week and this weekend trying to catch up on all the homework I missed for my class (I'm almost there!) and doing my taxes. I'm not usually so last minute on that, and I don't know what my excuse is. But at any rate, I feel like I've finally arrived back home now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A satisfying dream

Before I leave on my little trip (and don't worry, I'll be back on Wednesday), I wanted to talk about the Life on Mars finale. There are about a million things that could be said from a fan's point of view, but I finally realized it makes more sense to me to consider it from a writer's point of view. I think the writers tried their darnedest to give the fans maximum closure, and they did it by first wrapping everything in 1973 up neatly, and only then pulling away the curtain and revealing the objective truth of the situation. A lot of "it's all a dream" writers don't bother to do that, and often it's because they tack on that ending when the plot has become so convoluted that even they can't make sense of it anymore. But think about this in real life for a moment. When you are awakened abruptly from a dream at a crucial point, it haunts you all day. Only when the dream is allowed to end naturally is closure achieved. So I love it that, while acknowledging the fictionality of the 1973 setting, they allowed Sam and Annie to get together, Sam and Gene to make peace, and Sam to decide he wanted to stay after all. It's wonderful to look back on a beautiful dream that ended well, and now Life on Mars will be that for us.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Putting the kibosh on a rumor

I've had a question from a commenter that I'm 99.9% sure is a spammer, but just in case, I'm going to answer the question definitively. Unless you recorded the episodes when they first came on and still have them, THERE IS NO LEGAL WAY TO WATCH MEN IN TREES AT PRESENT. It hasn't been released on DVD, it isn't available to download from iTunes or Amazon, and according to TIOTI, there isn't any legal place online to watch it online for free. That means that if you did happen to find a certain place to watch it online (say, by following the link that my commenter nicely provided), it would be ILLEGAL, and that means that the person who possesses such a site is a CRIMINAL. Now let's see Google pick this post up and spread the news!

Monday, March 30, 2009

March TV round-up

I'm going to talk about the new shows that premiered in March first, and then I'll move on to the established shows I've been watching.

Kings-- This show is beautiful to look at, and in tone and diction it comes off like a Shakespeare play. It hasn't been getting good ratings and looks like it's incredibly expensive to produce, so I'm trying not to become too attached.

Castle-- This is never going to win an Emmy, but I'm liking it just fine. Nathan Fillion plays a lovable rascal so well, and I love his relationship with his daughter. That's what saves the show for me, more than his supposed heat with the detective, which I don't feel one bit.

Better Off Ted-- I'm enjoying this show too, although it's suffering from the same problem that all sitcoms today suffer from. There's only so much story you can tell in 20 minutes! Still, it pleases me enough to stay with it for a while and hope it develops into something more satisfying.

In the Motherhood-- No thank you, please. There's nothing here we haven't seen before, and better.

Chuck-- I remain awed by the wonder that is this show. More please.

Heroes-- This season has been swinging like a pendulum between wonderful and woeful. Let's hope it straightens out before the end.

Reaper-- I'm so glad this show is back! The changes they've brought are really paying off, and it's much less the cookie-cutter show it was last year. The devil is really developing into a cohesive (and smarmy) character, and our heroes have deepened as well. And having Andi know about the secrets makes it so much better!

American Idol-- Most of the singers they've gotten this year can actually sing, and it's making it much harder for me to decide who to vote for each week. Also, I'm already sad at the people getting voted off, which isn't normal at this stage.

Life-- I can't help wondering how each episode would be different if Reese was still there. I can tell they took scripts already written and gave her lines to the new girl, because they're totally Dani Reese one-liners, even coming out of somebody else's mouth. Here's hoping for her speedy return!

Life on Mars-- Only one episode left, and I'm sad to see this story almost over, but glad that Sam may finally get the answers he's looking for.

Ugly Betty-- I feel like this show has finally gotten back into its groove, and now we have to wait 6 weeks to find out what happens. But it's a good sign that I'm missing it.

Friday Night Lights-- Only two more episodes left this season? Time has really flown by! I think we're leaving all of the characters in a pretty good place, except for J.D. McCoy, but as the only freshman we know, he'll probably have to carry more of the load in years to come. And I do hope there will be years to come.

Dollhouse-- This show has finally gotten to be what I expected it to be. I thought this week's episode was wonderful, as was last week's.

Brothers and Sisters-- I thought the whole "shocking death" thing was stupid, and I'm glad that's behind us. I'm also glad that Tommy didn't have to go to trial. I wonder what Ryan has up his sleeve? We have another long wait for new episodes for this show; more time to let the anticipation build, I guess.

Medium-- My curse holds, and it looks like Lifetime is removing this one from their rotation. Say it ain't so!

In DVD news, I've been watching Sapphire and Steel, which is ok, but isn't thrilling me as much as I expected. I'm going to go back to Dr. Who again instead.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

But heroes often fail

This is another one where I'm cheating a little bit, because I love the Gordon Lightfoot version, but in this case, I almost think of them as two separate songs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Total eclipse

Ok, I'm kind of cheating with this one, because I was in second grade when the original version of this song came out, and I certainly do think of it as the real one. But this version, that came out when I was in college, seems to me the perfect example of a cover that totally reinvents the song in the process.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

That same old dizzy feeling

So a couple of weeks ago I was watching American Idol, and somebody sang "Never Can Say Goodbye," which we were told was by the Jackson 5. And I thought, "That song is by them?" And then I went to YouTube to watch a video of them singing it, and thought, "That sure isn't the version of the song I know," and then I had to dig around until I found the correct version. I've been doing this a lot lately; finding out that the version of a song I know from the 80's isn't really the real version of the song at all, but just an obscure cover that apparently nobody who didn't listen to KFYR ever heard. In that spirit, I'm going to be doing a series of videos of these covers this week, to celebrate my freedom from homework because it's spring break. In that spirit, here's the first one, the song that started it all.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hard Way Every Time

I've just recently discovered this song, and I think it could be my manifesto!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

History repeats itself

Yesterday, as I rushed across campus at noon on a fine bright day that seemed like the first true beginning of spring, clutching to my chest a book by a dear author I just couldn't wait to read, I was instantly transported back 9 years to a similar situation on the campus of Iowa State. That day, I was holding a different book to my chest, and I was walking across Iowa State's vast central quad (which I have always thought would be more appropriate for raising an endless field of wheat than for rushing across every day), but the feeling of anticipation I felt was exactly the same. This made me realize both how much has changed and how much has stayed the same, and also that it all comes back to Ames, Iowa.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Working together to serve you better

I've been a busy girl this weekend, all in the name of you readers who may or may not actually exist. You may have noticed that a lot of music videos have suddenly disappeared from YouTube. You may also have noticed that I embed a lot of music videos in my posts. Well, I wouldn't want any of you to be disappointed when going through my archives by clicking on a video and finding that it no longer works. So I have meticulously gone through all the video posts, found the ones that weren't working, and either replaced them with another version of the song or deleted them. I think that everything should be working as of this moment, but if you find something that isn't, let me know by posting a comment here, ok?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life on Mars is flying away

So yesterday we learned that Life on Mars will be over in another month. ABC is promising that the last episode will be a real last episode, but they said that about Men in Trees and it didn't turn out to be true, so I'm skeptical. I guess I'll just try to soak up as much of their cool 70's vibe while I can. I hear that the British version is coming out on DVD this summer, so I'll have to try to watch that as well and see what the differences are.

Monday, February 23, 2009

February TV roundup

So it's almost exactly a month since my last TV-related post, and I've got stuff to say. Let's go through the week in order and tick the shows off my list one by one.
  • Chuck- The 3-D episode made my head hurt, and so I found the 2-D version on Hulu and watched that instead. It was an ok episode, but not the ideal one for either 3-D or introducing a whole horde of new viewers to the show. I have to say, though, that last week's Valentine's Day episode was pretty romantic and sweet. Chuck and Sarah got to see what it would be like to be married, if only for a day or so.
  • Heroes- The first episode of this new volume gave me hope, but I've lost it again. I don't really understand where the writers are going with this, and I don't really care. I'm just watching out of obligation and to see the Sylar subplot. It's kind of sad that he's my favorite character now.
  • Trust Me- I watched this show for 3 weeks before giving up on it, which means that it's not really terrible, just not to my liking. I guess it comes down to the fact that, while it was a very nice show to look at, there were no characters I could particularly relate to or drool over, and the plots weren't really that exciting.
  • American Idol- I only start watching when the voting starts, so for me it was last week. I'm liking this new format, and they actually got me to watch the whole results show for once! So far so good, although I'm torn whether to watch this or Reaper after it comes back next week.
  • Privileged- Tomorrow is the show's last episode, and unless a major miracle occurs, that's it. This really was a cute show, and I'll probably miss it once in a while, but if it's cancelled, it's not going to ruin my life. Especially since they sent Charlie away to college.
  • Fringe- I can't believe we have to wait until April! Stupid 2-hour American Idol!
  • Life- I love this show, and it's hard to say why. I guess it's a combination of the intricacy of the murder setups and my love for all things redheaded, including Charlie Crews.
  • Life on Mars- I'm still loving this show! The soundtrack, the clothes, the hair, the shoutouts to 70's cop shows. And yes, Jason O'Mara is very, very cute.
  • Ugly Betty- This is better than it was at the beginning of the year, and I'm so glad that Christina's baby was finally, finally born.
  • Friday Night Lights- This just keeps getting better and better. Jason Street is such a devoted father that it warms my heart, and I'm so glad that Matt and Julie have gotten back together. I worry about Tyra and that cowboy, though. Are we actually going to get to see the wedding of her sister and Tim's brother, because that promises to be a real hoot? The wedding dress had me in stitches!
  • Dollhouse- I'm liking this so far. I've never really understood how the concept was going to make a satisfying TV show, but I'm willing to go along for the ride and find out.
  • Medium- I don't understand why Lifetime is showing the current season only two weeks behind NBC, but I'm not complaining. This week they did their thing where they moved it because of a movie so I taped the wrong thing, but it's ok, because I can watch it online!
  • Simpsons- I haven't actually watched an episode in the new format, but I saw the new opening credits and they're pretty snazzy. A good mix of the old and the new.
  • Brothers and Sisters- Everyone is abuzz about who's going to get murdered next week. My money is on Tommy, since we know he was fired from the show, but that could be a red herring.

In DVD news, I'm just about to start Family Ties. I didn't always understand the show when I was in 2nd grade, although I identified with Jennifer, who was only two years older than I was. (And 9 seems like such a big girl to 7, so I looked up to her too.) We'll see how much more I see in it now that I'm an adult.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Two months

So it's been a long time since I said anything substantial here, and it's not that I haven't been thinking about things. It's just that I've felt like I couldn't say anything that I wanted everybody in the world to hear. My life has been full of a lot of secrets lately, some of which I'm still not ready to reveal. But while I was taking a nice brisk (in both senses of the word) walk today on the bike path, I had a thought that I felt was worth exploring here. In two words, it's "two months."

What do I mean by that? Well, I've had a number of significant relationships in my life, and because I'm a loyal person, many of them have gone on in some form or another for years. But to be perfectly honest, the amount of time in which I was actually happy and things were going well has always been the same: 2 months. Take this summer, for instance, when I had my little idyll immortalized in these pages. It was exactly two months long to the day. And of course, last spring I met Aethelred Eldridge and we were so intrigued with each other for, you guessed it, two months, and then things just trailed off. After I graduated from library school, I had a wonderful intimate liaison with someone that lasted exactly two months, until we both found jobs and went back to real life. And just to show you that this trend has gone on for a long time, I was recently reunited with an old old old flame on Facebook. (By which I mean from 5th grade.) Although we knew each other for years after that period, when I look back on it, there were only two months that we were very happy, before all the teasing I got from classmates made me back away.

I'm still not sure if this means something, and if so, what? Is two months all the good I've got in me for anybody? That's a depressing thought. Maybe what it means is that when I meet someone new, instead of hoping that things last forever, I should just try to get the most out of the next two months that I can. If I take that strategy, the next two months could be very interesting indeed!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Flour tortilla mystery solved

This just in! Flour tortillas are used in areas of northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Isn't it so cool?

I saw today that they have brought back Cherry 7-Up, although I don't think it tastes at all the same. Well, here's an ad for the original.

The Swiss spaghetti harvest

Here's a fun video I found on YouTube. It may be 50 years old, but it still amuses.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Henrietta's wedding

I had a dream based on the song "Henrietta's Wedding" (from the Muppet Show) last night. It was my wedding everybody was planning, and I kept telling everyone I couldn't remember who I was going to marry, when in actuality there was no groom! But the important thing was that Spicey and Jillie were going to be bridesmaids, and we were going to serve green apple and cherry punch. There were also flowers and dresses, just no groom!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Off we go to Sweden

Here's another piano book special, except of course that my version wasn't nearly this jazzy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Put your little foot right out

I loved this song when I was in 5th grade and thought it was excessively romantic. I loved playing it in my piano book!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

January TV roundup

Since it seems like none of my favorite shows are going to have new episodes this week, this is as good a time as any to catch you up on what I've been watching.

In syndicated TV news, I finally caught up with Grey's Anatomy! That means I needed to find a new show to watch every weekend, and I settled on Medium. I'd seen promos for this show for years, but it didn't look like the kind of thing I'd be interested in. Then I found out it was produced by Glenn Gordon Caron, who also did Moonlighting. That struck my interest, but I didn't actually watch it until this summer by accident. While I was on vacation, I'd set my VCR to tape Grey's Anatomy, but Lifetime moved it while I was gone, so I ended up with two episodes of Medium instead and decided to watch them. That was all it took to hook me! So now that I have the Grey's Anatomy slot open, I'm going to start watching it on purpose.

On DVD, I'm watching The Critic. It's a cartoon that my father loved desperately during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at UND, and then when it moved to Fox, I had to watch every episode just to remind him that I could and he couldn't! So far I don't remember seeing any of these episodes, so I'm enjoying them with fresh eyes.

I'm so glad that Friday Night Lights is back. It's a little disconcerting that they're in September and we're in January, but I can deal with it. I also miss Jason Street, but I hear he'll be back for at least a few episodes this season. I'm just so glad to have my family back!

I'm still enjoying Privileged, but I can see the cost-cutting all over the place. I bet the CW is ruing the day that they decided to make two of their shows about insanely rich people! But it's not the trappings of wealth that I watch this show for; rather, it's the human interactions.

I'm glad Fringe finally came back, and I'm very glad that they didn't have Olivia langor in captivity for weeks and weeks as some shows might have been tempted to do. And she didn't even need to be rescued by anyone; she took care of it all herself!

The jury's still out on Ugly Betty. It was off for so long and it's just hard for me to get back into it.

I watched the new show Lie to Me this week, and I actually liked it quite well. But when Life comes back in February, it will be no contest.

Well, there you have it. A lot more of my shows are coming back in February, and I'll tell you what I think about them then.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A follow-up

I suppose I should say belatedly that I did watch the inauguration and found it an enjoyable experience. It also triggered a memory of watching a previous inauguration and hearing Maya Angelou recite a poem. Obviously that was one of the Clinton inaugurations, since those were the only two that she spoke at. Maybe we watched it in POD in high school. (That would have been my senior year, 1993.) Making us watch the inauguration sounds like something Miss Irmen would have done.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

So Inauguration Day is finally here, and I happen to have the morning off from work. I guess that means I should watch it, right? But actually, I don't think I've ever seen an inauguration before. Usually, I've been in school when it happened, and the other years I guess I just didn't care. How could the daughter of such a political person have become so apolitical? Or on the other hand, maybe it was inevitable that it would happen. I think I had OD'd on politics by the age of 5! At any rate, to all my friends (and there are many) who are very excited about this day, I'll try to enjoy it by imagining your pleasure.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some good news for online TV watchers

Since Time Warner in Athens switched all the channels around while I was gone and I didn't realize it, on Tuesday night instead of taping Privileged, I taped an hour of the Trinity Broadcasting Network instead! I wasn't looking forward to watching Privileged on the CW's website, since I had such trouble trying to watch Gossip Girl there last fall, but I'm happy to report that they have ironed out a lot of their troubles since then. Of course, I'm so far behind on Gossip Girl that I don't think I'm going to try to catch up now anyway, but it's nice to know that I could!

A cockeyed optimist in the best of times

Whenever I read one of those ubiquitous news articles about the current economic crisis, I think of this song by Styx. The fact is, it's perfectly possible for any individual to succeed even in the midst of generally bad times, and I intend to be one of those people! If that makes you think I fit this other song , go right ahead!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm back....

.... and the only things I accomplished on my list were #7 and #8. Oh, well, there's always next year!